Recent studies have linked the fertility drug Clomid with a 3X increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect. The CDC has also warned about higher rates of heart defects, skull defects, and more.
Clomid Birth Defects
- Neural tube (spina bifida)
- Heart defects
- Skull defects
- Gastrointestinal defects (omphalocele)
- Cleft lip/palate
- Limb defects
- And more
What is the problem?
Clomid, also known as clomiphene citrate, helps women with fertility problems get pregnant. It works by stimulating the ovaries to release an egg.
The problem is that Clomid may also increase the risk of having a baby with a birth defect if it is used 2 months before pregnancy or during the first month, when most women are still unaware that a pregnancy has occurred.
Studies in humans and animals have found evidence of fetal risks, with up to 20% of Clomid-exposed pregnancies ending in spontaneous abortion. Up to 10% of pregnancies are also multiples (twins or triplets).
What Pregnancy Category is Clomid?
Clomid is Pregnancy Category X, the most serious classification the FDA can give a medication to warn about the risk of birth defects.
Study Finds Clomid Triples Risk of Birth Defects
Women who used Clomid were three times more likely to have a baby with a birth defect, according to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2012. Fertility treatments were associated with cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, urogenital, and gastrointestinal defects and cerebral palsy.
Clomid Birth Defect Warning Issued by CDC
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning after an analysis of data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study linked Clomid with higher rates of many birth defects.
The study was published in Human Reproduction in November 2010 and involved women who used Clomid and gave birth from 1997-2005.
Birth defects linked to Clomid included:
- Anencephaly (2.3X risk): Baby is born missing large parts of its brain and skull.
- Dandy-Walker malformation (4.4X risk): Abnormal development of the cerebellum (part of the brain that controls movement)
- Heart defects
- Cloacal exstrophy (5.4X risk): Abdominal organs (bladder and intestines) are exposed, genitals are split, and anus may be sealed
- Craniosynostosis (1.9X risk): Premature fusion of skull bones resulting in decreased brain size and abnormally-shaped head